Backpacker hiking through golden wildflowers on a mountain on the Arizona Trail with Lake Roosevelt in the distance.

Last night was another cold one, but it wasn’t too bad because I focused on Tim coming today. And anyway, I guess this is the AZT – cold camping nights. So, I got up early to make sure I’d be at the Pigeon Spring Trailhead around 3 p.m., when Tim was slated to arrive.

I started off down the ranch road in front of my campsite – the same way AZT veteran Cake and his buddy, Bear Box, went last night. After a half-mile or so, something seemed wrong. Sure enough, I wasn’t on the path. It was right across the road from my campsite, not down the road. (This explained all of the footsteps and pausing near my tent that I’d heard last night and gotten slightly worried about – probably Cake and his friend retracing their steps and trying to find the trail.)

Obviously I was bummed to lose a mile, and the time. But I forged ahead.

Crazy Path (But Tim Is Coming!)

The first few miles on the real trail were tough. Lots of uphill and rocks. But once I refilled my water at Buckhorn Creek, things got much better. The trail became a lovely, gentle roller coaster on soft dirt. I made up lots of time. It was shady and never too hot.

But with maybe five or six miles left, the trail devolved and kept morphing from hard to easy and from dirt to rock. This is the Four Peaks (Passage 20), by the way, and in the photo below you’ll see what I assume are the Four Peaks.

I made it to the trailhead at 3:35 p.m., but no Tim. Of course, I had no cell service, so I had no idea if he was having trouble finding it or what. I was worried and prayed he’d be coming soon.


Four mountain peaks in the distance, a scene along the Arizona Trail.

Not more than 10 minutes later, up he drives in a giant Tahoe! I didn’t think I’d reserved that for him, but boy was it necessary!

We spent 30 minutes juggling crap — packing and unpacking stuff. He’d brought me the Lay’s and Coke I craved, plus Chipotle for dinner. And beer! 

We hiked another three miles, all along a ranch road, then found a nice camping spot.

We had our Chipotle and beer, played some cards and enjoyed the beautiful stars. I’m so happy my son is here!


17.9 miles today
333.5 miles to date
466.5 miles to go

©2018 Melanie McManus – All Rights Reserved

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